Normally there there many pieces of equipment blowing snow off of our sidewalks. Generally that work is done in conjunction with regular street plowing, in order of priority, and works fairly well.
This year, all of these deep freezes and multiple rounds of plowing (second most snow in December on record) has put tonnes of hard packed ice and snow on the snow storage boulevards. Lots of that ice and snow has fallen onto the sidewalks. This is compounding the problem of ice and snow that fell on the sidewalks themselves.
So, in this current situation, the City only has a handful of vehicles capable of clearing this type of hard ice and snow off sidewalks, because in a normal winter they aren't needed everywhere, just in a handful of problem spots. Now this equipment is needed on sidewalks all over the city.
Compounding the problem, is that these machines move very slowly as they grind through hard packed material.
Sidewalks and Active Transportation are important to Winnipegers and The City. Public Works is doing everything in their power to clear our sidewalks. There will be a review of snow clearing operations at Public Works Committee (which I sit on) next week, where these issues will be discussed, and perhaps we can talk about whether taxpayers should consider buying more of these heavy duty sidewalk clearing machines for future winters, or other potential solutions.
Thank you for your patience with sidewalk clearing operations, thank you to the hardworking men and women who have been putting in tonnes of hours these past few weeks. Plowing operations are ongoing.